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Author Topic: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday  (Read 1461 times)

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Offline LordSterben

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Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« on: March 12, 2014, 11:40:35 AM »
Badagris (Bah-Dah-Gree) the Witch Doctor - (Name derived from the aspect of the lwa Ogoun. If you look up what this aspect represents, you might get a chuckle.) Totally non-HA.

So, I've worn a costume to faire before, but this year feels different. I wasn't really intending on making anything elaborate, but I have a tendency to get carried away with art projects. What started out as bins full of my leftover scrap leather has become a full-fledged Shaman costume that I'd feel confident donning at any contest.

As I worked on the costume, I found a character developing in my mind, and now I'm kind of absorbed in it. I did a bit of studying on Voudon last year for something I was writing, and have since been very intrigued by it. As my ragged assembly started to go from "random costume" to "shaman," I started to see a whole Battle-hardened Witch Doctor persona bleeding into it. This project gave me the opportunity to scrawl veve on my armor, bleach chicken bones for my collier, and listen to rada drums. I really got into it.

Now, I have a background that might lend well to this character...I have experience in screen acting, street performing and I know a decent amount regarding fantasy shamans (former EQ addict.) So I no longer see myself just wearing this gear at the ren faire...I can see myself playing the role. In this regard, I'm a total newb and I have questions.

My street performing background is actually in hypnosis (I did it in Orlando bars for about a year) but I learn quickly. I've put together some basic magic tricks that fit the character (i.e. not "linking rings") I can make my hands glow and I can produce a small fireball in my hand. Of course, the fireball is flash-paper based and extremely safe (and I'm not an idiot so I wouldn't explode my hand within ten feet of anyone else) but I assume that the faire doesn't approve of unsanctioned pyrotechnics. Thus, I won't be making fireballs this Saturday...but if anyone knows how I can pull this off in the future without getting thrown out, please let me know!

My other question regards playing the role. Being a rookie, the only roaming performer that I know any details about is Twig. She doesn't talk, right? I've thought about how I would give a voice to Badagris, and the answer that I keep coming up with is "he doesn't talk." Do any of you perform as non-speaking characters? What are the challenges of going this route and do you have any advice for interacting with others without speaking?

I'm really excited about this. I've never played a character role in public (sadly, I'm weak in the improv department, which is why many of my auditions became really funny cautionary tales.) This is fairewear that I can see adding to and improving over the course of years, so I think it's something I can stick with and develop. I even know what I'd like to make for favors, although the process is time consuming so they'll probably have to wait until next year.

Any input or advice is welcome!
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Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 02:04:34 PM »
but I assume that the faire doesn't approve of unsanctioned pyrotechnics. Thus, I won't be making fireballs this Saturday...but if anyone knows how I can pull this off in the future without getting thrown out, please let me know!

Don't. If I got caught using fire of any sort at a faire where I was not approved to use fire, my contract would be pulled faster than I could blink. Fire work requires insurance, approval, paperwork, contracts, etc.

Any input or advice is welcome!

My advice: audition for cast or send your festival(s) of choice an entertainment proposal. What you're talking about (interacting with patrons, giving out favors, magic, fire) is performing, and as I said before, if you want to perform, go through the proper channels. Take improv classes and workshops if it's something you're not great at, though I think you'll find that most renaissance faires are willing and eager to teach. Faires do not tend to take kindly to unauthorized performance--they don't want the liability, it may not jive with the image they're trying to foster, it will piss off their contracted performers/cast, they don't want the liability.

I think you'd find performing at a faire to be a super rewarding, but what you're talking about will get you removed.

ETA: it looks like BARF auditions are over for this year, so if performing is something you want to do, I would suggest that you go out multiple times (as you seem to be planning already) and check out what the cast and street performers are doing. Take some improv classes, and then when you go out in the winter to audition, you'll be ready.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 02:19:55 PM by stonebiscuit »

Offline LordSterben

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Re: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 03:23:13 PM »
Now THIS post sounds like performing, now that I get the gist of protocol ;)

This is more along the lines of what I would do if I were a performer (as opposed to the music thing). I was misunderstanding about the favors...I thought it was just a thing that enthusiasts did...handing them to each other and such.

So, I guess my follow up question is: Are playtrons actually barred from any kind of roleplaying then? Meaning...if someone comes up to me and addresses me (I wasn't planning on engaging other patrons myself...I figured that was a definite cast thing) I'm not allowed to respond in character? And if cast approaches me I can't be in character?

Just clarifying because the line is blurring now! I really love the faire when I get the chance to go and I don't want to step on any toes.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 03:23:54 PM by LordSterben »
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Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 11:14:49 AM »
As far as I have ever heard. favors are either something performers give to patrons (like Twig stones), or something people give to friends (I think most people have a collection of these), so you're not entirely wrong. Of course, it's a big, scattered faire world, and terminology changes from place to place. Giving things to patrons you aren't friends with becomes performing, in my book.

As per roleplaying, frankly the lines are a little blurry, but IMO, there is a difference between playing with friends or cast and playing with/performing for strangers. Remember that Joe Average doesn't know that you're just attending for funsies. For all he knows you're an employee of and therefore official representative of the festival. Whatever you do is going to reflect on the festival, and they therefore have the right and the obligation to protect their brand and limit their liability by limiting what you do. Furthermore, the actual employees of the festival have rules, policies, and schedules they must follow, and the festival has the obligation to protect their acts and vendors.

Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 11:27:08 AM »
I don't think anyone would kick you out for responding in character as long at it didn't carry on or draw a crowd.  I makae it a habit of speaking in character to cast as they pass, but it is simply a greeting in most cases.  I have had cast engage me in the past, and will carry on as long as they wish.

There are playtrons, at some faires I attend, whose garb quality will rival that of cast. I've never heard of anyone being ejected for such. Some have been ejected for showing too much...

What Stonebiscuit said about the average Joe not knowing if you're cast or not, THAT is a major concern and has caused problems in the past with some well-attired playtron involved in an incident, and the faire being blamed and held liable. My advice is, if in garb, conduct yourself as if you are representing the faire (sans performing).
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Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Badagris the Witch Doctor will 'debut' Saturday
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 05:47:59 PM »
^^that in a nutshell^^ 

Pretty much the rule book for responsible Playtron-ing.   
 

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